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Rohtak sisters to be honoured on Republic Day

Taking serious note of the incident, Haryana government asked the state Director General of Police (DGP) and state transport department to take steps for ensuring security of passengers especially women travelling in roadways buses.

Praising the indomitable courage and bravery of the girls who opposed the misdemeanour of the three youth who tried to "molest" them in the moving bus, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the girls will be given cash awards on the occasion of Republic Day.

The two college-going sisters had confronted three alleged molesters inside a moving bus, with one of the girls even hitting the youths with her belt, even as passengers remained mute spectators.

The entire incident, recorded by a passenger on mobile phone, went viral both on television and social media. It showed the two girls using hands and belt to thrash the trio, who appeared to be taken by surprise.

All the three youths -- Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak - were later arrested and remanded to custody till December six.

Rohtak Superintendent of Police Shanshank Anand said that an appeal had been made to eyewitnesses or passengers sitting in the bus to help police to take the case to its logical end.

He said police would make serious efforts to take this case to the fast track court for speedy conviction of the accused.

Asked about the threat by residents of the village of the accused to block roads on Tuesday, the SP said action would be taken against those violating the law.

The parents of the two girls had lodged an FIR with Haryana Police against the three youths informing that the molesters got down at the Kansla village in Rohtak in the north Indian state of Haryana.

The victims in their complaint alleged that they were "teased" by some youths in a Haryana Roadways bus when they were going to their college on Friday.

When the victims objected, one of the accused started beating them up.

Amid public outrage over the incident, the Director General of Haryana Transport department has ordered suspension of bus driver Balwan Singh and conductor Labh Singh with immediate effect.

The father of the two sisters has, meanwhile, alleged that there was pressure from the panchayat that the girls should withdraw the complaint.

On their part, the residents of Kansla village in Rohtak district from where the accused hailed have served an ultimatum on the district administration to release the three boys within 24 hours.

The residents have alleged that a false FIR has been registered against the three which should be quashed.

The residents told reporters that the three boys have been "falsely implicated". They claimed that it was not a case of alleged molestation but a dispute was over seats.

The seats had been allotted to the three boys, they claimed.

Reacting to the incident, Union Minister Uma Bharti said, "All the girls should do what these sisters did. They did well. But it is sad that none of the other passengers came to their help. Society has to change its mindset and people should stop being mere onlookers when such incidents take place".

"What the girls wear, does not matter. People should come together and ensure that women are respected and their dignity is maintained," she said.

National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam too praised the girls.

"I would like to congratulate the girls and ask the authorities to take appropriate action. Few girls have the guts to take on the molesters. The government should take action. I would appeal to every Indian to come forward," she said.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the incident highlighted that Indian women are exposed to all kinds of risks in public spaces.

"It is very unfortunate (incident) and very brave of these two girls.... I suppose the Centre and the state will all have to work together in a focused manner, otherwise public spaces are not going to be safe," she said.

The Commerce Minister said that the issue of safety of women will be taken up with the Home Ministry.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said it would be not be fair to target the BJP government in Haryana over the issue and it is new and "it will take some time to repair the damage done during the Congress rule".
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